Why the 18-year-old perpetrator stormed into the elementary school in Uvalde on Tuesday afternoon and shot 19 children and two teachers dead there is still not clear, even one day after the killing spree.

On the other hand, the sequence of events is becoming increasingly clear.

As the Texan Senator Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday afternoon in the first lengthy press conference since the crime, the young man had announced the attack on Facebook – a few minutes earlier.

According to Abbott, the perpetrator sent three messages in the half hour before the killing spree.

The first: "I'm going to shoot my grandmother." The second: "I shot my grandmother." Finally, the third, about 15 minutes earlier: "I'm going to attack an elementary school." His grandmother, who he shot in the face, survived so and called the police.

Sofia Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

  • Follow I follow

The unnamed perpetrator, meanwhile, approached Robb Elementary School in a black pickup truck registered to his grandmother.

There was an accident due to excessive speed, photos show the damaged vehicle in a ditch near the school.

At 11:30 a.m. the first emergency call came in: Witnesses reported the accident and that a man with a gun and backpack had got out of the car.

Video uploaded to Facebook on Tuesday shows a person dressed all in black and holding a gun about to enter the school, believed to be the perpetrator.

According to Abbot, the gunman entered the school through a back door, then crossed two hallways and entered one classroom connected to another.

Here the young man shot dead 21 people with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and injured another 17, who are now out of danger.

The perpetrator had left the second of the two weapons, which he is said to have bought soon after his 18th birthday, in the car.

There was no "significant advance warning," Abbott said Tuesday of the attack.

The 18-year-old shooter, who dropped out of high school, had no criminal record.

Whether he once received an entry for offenses as a teenager is still being checked.

There are also no known mental problems.

Democrat O'Rourke interrupts press conference

What the victims' families needed more than anything right now, Abbott said, is "our love" and the support of all Texans and Americans.

Then he continued, "It could have been worse," a sentence that may come as a surprise given the deaths of 19 fourth-graders and two dead teachers.

Abbott linked it with a thank you to the security forces who "walked through the hail of bullets with the sole intention of saving lives."

According to media reports, the perpetrator managed to barricade himself in the classroom for half an hour before the special operations team was able to free the students.

Abbott did not comment on this at the press conference.

The "rapid reaction" of the security forces made it possible to put the perpetrator out of action.

The press conference in Uvalde showed once again how charged the topic of gun laws is in the United States.

Just as Abbott was about to pass the floor, Democrat Beto O'Rourke approached the stage.

He wants to challenge Abbott in the next Texas gubernatorial election in November and accused him of not doing enough about gun violence.

"They aren't doing anything," he shouted as commotion broke out on the stage.

"It's your responsibility." After being ushered out of the room, O'Rourke continued to rant in an impromptu press conference outside, "Why are we allowing this in this country?

Why are we allowing this in this state?” He will do something and is not alone.

Already on Tuesday evening he had asked Governor Abbott on Twitter to

Majority leader Chuck Schumer withdrew the move announced by the Democrats on Tuesday to bring stricter gun laws to the Senate again this week.

It was about an in-depth background check for potential gun owners.

Instead of an immediate vote, in which the necessary majority of 60 votes - including ten Republicans - would be unlikely, Schumer now wants to try to bring about a compromise.

The chances are small, "very small, far too small," he said on Wednesday in the Senate.

But that is such an important topic.

“If you do the right thing and insist, justice will eventually prevail.

[…] And for that reason alone, we must try.”